A wry, savvy novel of untidy modern relationships, A Family Affair confirms award-winning author Nadine Bismuth’s place as a remarkable chronicler of contemporary middle-class mores in the manner of Jonathan Franzen, John Irving, and Lorrie Moore.
Award-winning novelist and screenwriter for film and television Nadine Bismuth has returned with an unsparing portrait of twenty-first century life. In A Family Affair, love is the first casualty and deceit — towards others, towards oneself — the norm.
Kitchen designer Magalie is being cheated upon and so cheats in turn, in the office and with a divorced police officer who has hired her. Her partner, Mathieu, has no idea how to be, and the police officer Guillaume no idea what he wants. So begins a story of messy relationships wrested against the odds from the detritus of failed marriages, the demands of professional lives, and the pull of the internet and its false messages of perfection. With an assiduous eye that is both clinical and sympathetic, Bismuth’s elegant and highly readable novel captures the alienating nature of contemporary life and sheds light on this, our strange new world full of unrequited yearning in a sea of seeming plenty.
About the authors
NADINE BISMUTH’s debut story collection, Fidelity Doesn’t Make the News, won the Prix de l’Association des librairies du Québec and the Adrienne-Choquette Literary Prize. She is the author of two previous novels, Scrapbook and Are You Married to a Psychopath?, the latter of which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award. She has written for film and television, including En thérapie, the adaptation of the popular syndicated series In Therapy. Nadine Bismuth was born and lives in Montreal.
Russell Smith was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Halifax, Canada. He studied French literature at Queen's, Poitiers and Paris (III). Since 1990 he has lived in Toronto, where he works as a freelance journalist. He has published articles in The Globe and Mail, Details, Travel and Leisure, Toronto Life, Flare, NOW and other journals, and short fiction and poetry in Queen's Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Quarry, the New Quarterly, Carousel, Kairos, Toronto Life and other journals. Russell appears frequently on television and radio as a cultural commentator. In 1995 he won a Gold Medal at the American City And Regional Magazine Awards. Russell Smith is the author of six works of fiction; his first novel, How Insensitive, was short-listed for the Smithbooks/Books In Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Prize and the Governor General's Award for Fiction. In 2005 he was a juror for the Governor General's Award in Fiction (in English).